NEW 4-H Tinker Box Program – Families Needed to Pilot the Program

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Tinker Box

NCA&T University is looking for families interested in piloting their new 4-H Tinker Box Program. If you aren’t familiar with a “tinker box,” it’s a box filled with supplies for tinkering. Some people make it geared for crafting, others make it geared for engineering. It is an engaging STEM activity intended for youth to explore and create with minimal guidance.

Rather than focusing on projects, it focuses on inspiration and the freedom to create.

Yes, there are times for guided craft projects, but much of the time, youth are more than happy creating without adults giving them direction. In fact, many youth tend to stay engaged with a project longer when it doesn’t have direction because they become more invested in it.

Tinkering isn’t about the finished product. It’s about the PROCESS.

It allows youth to ask themselves, “What will happen if…?” and then find out the answer on their own. As they work, they follow their intuition about what needs to come next. Instead of simply following directions, kids invent whatever comes to mind. That’s what makes this a STEM activity.

4-H Pilot Program Registration and Logistics
The 4-H Tinker Boxes will allow families to experience 4-H STEM activities at home as a self-paced family project. Families will have the opportunity to request a tinker box using the link below. Quantities are limited and we do request that families request one box per child at this time. If you have two kids around the same age that can work together, please do so in order to allow as many families to participate as possible.

The boxes are themed with national celebrations and holidays. As families register, they will be invited to also register for an event or events to either showcase their work or to join the 4-H STEM team online for guidance on how to complete the activity. 

Photos and Videos
Families will be asked to share pictures and videos to a private folder in OneDrive. They may also share their work via social media using the hashtags provided in the letter for the box.

To register for the 4-H Tinker Box Program, please visit